Ski jackets are a must-have for any winter activity. When you are out on the slopes, the last thing you want is to be cold and wet.
But one question often arises whether or not ski jackets are truly waterproof.
When buying a new ski jacket, you may come across many different ratings that may be difficult to understand if you have never known them.
Understanding these, you will know what to look for is key to choosing the right ski jacket for you.
In this post, Here you’ll find information on how waterproofing can help you stay warm, other features of ski jackets, waterproof ratings, and the key question: Does a ski jacket need to be waterproof?
Are ski jackets waterproof? Do they really need to be?
Ski jackets can be waterproof or water resistant. And we recommend waterproof ski jackets because they keep snow and water out of the jacket and warm people.
First, no one wants to ski around in a wet jacket. A wet ski jacket is heavy and uncomfortable, even if you’re not worried about getting cold.
Second, and more importantly, ski jackets must be waterproof to protect you in case of a fall.
If you fall and hit the snow, you want your jacket to repel the moisture, so you don’t get soaked.
That way, you can get back up and keep skiing without worrying about being wet and cold.
So now you may want to know the waterproof rating of ski jackets and what rating different skiers need.
Please continue reading the information below if you want to know about waterproofing and its importance.
Ski jacket’s waterproof ratings
When shopping for a new ski or outdoor jacket, paying attention to the waterproof rating is important.
Waterproof ratings are a measure of how well fabric can resist water. The ratings are expressed as a number, with a higher number indicating better waterproofing.
The most common waterproof ratings are 1,000mm, 2,000mm, and 5,000mm.
These numbers refer to the amount of water pressure the fabric can withstand before it leaks.
For example, a fabric rating of 1,000mm can withstand the pressure of 1,000 millimeters of water for 24 hours before it begins to leak.
Waterproof ratings are important when choosing to clothe for rain jackets, as they can help you stay dry and comfortable in many weather conditions.
Here you can see the different categories of waterproof watches.
For waterproof garments, we make them with a durable water repellent (DWR) coated material with a membrane applied to the inside surface of the fabric.
DWR is a treatment that allows the fabric to dry quickly and repel water.
Ideal for skiers with different experiences
Lower than 5k: You’re just getting started with ski jackets. You’ll be able to progress quickly and won’t need the best ski jackets money can buy just yet.
5k-10k: These ski jackets will get you by if you don’t hit the slopes too often. They’ll do in a pinch, but they’re not going to perform as well as some of the higher-end ski jackets.
10k waterproofing: Ideal for occasional skiers and on-piste skiers, 10k waterproofing will keep you dry in most conditions. It’s also breathable, so you won’t overheat when working hard.
15k waterproofing: Now we’re talking! If you’re spending plenty of time on the slopes or being an experienced skier, you’ll need a ski jacket with 15k waterproofing. It will keep you dry in all conditions, including skiing in powder.
So how do you know the ski jacket’s waterproof before you buy it?
You can check its waterproofness in one of the following three ways:
How the seams are sealed
Typically, snow jackets have taped seams. Without taped seams, water can escape through the seams. Thermoplastic tape is applied to the seam under heat and pressure to make it waterproof.
Outdoor jackets have two types of taped seams: fully taped seams (all seams are covered) or strictly taped seams (only the seams are susceptible to water contact).
A waterproof rating will tell you how well the jacket will hold up in different weather conditions. The most common ratings are 5k/10k/20k.
This number represents how many millimeters of water could be pressing against the fabric before any moisture gets through.
So, a 5k jacket will be less waterproof than a 20k jacket.
Gore-tex is a type of fabric designed to be breathable and waterproof.
It will keep you dry while allowing your body to release heat and moisture while snowboarding.
Gore-tex is usually a good choice for people who tend to get warm while snowboarding.
But you will pay for it. It is not cheap, so if budget is not an issue, this is a good choice.
But if it is out of your price range, check the seams and waterproof rating described above.
Measuring breathability and choosing the right rating
Breathability determines how well the jacket can ventilate and release heat and moisture and is especially important if you tend to get overheated or sweat a lot when skiing.
The two main ways to measure breathability are the evaporative resistance test (RET) and the moisture vapor transmission rate (MVTR).
RET measures how well a fabric resists the passage of water vapor and is expressed in terms of mmHg.
The higher the RET value, the more resistant the fabric is to water vapor.
MVTR, on the other hand, measures how quickly water vapor can pass through the fabric and is expressed in terms of g/m2/24 hours.
The higher the MVTR value, the more breathable the fabric is.
When choosing a ski jacket, it is important to consider both the RET and MVTR values.
A jacket with a high RET but low MVTR will be more resistant to water vapor but won’t breathe.
A jacket with a low RET but high MVTR will breathe better but won’t be as resistant to water vapor.
The best option is usually a jacket with a balance of high RET and MVTR values.
Don’t forget that highly waterproof jackets are not necessarily very breathable.
A highly waterproof and breathable combination is ideal for ultimate comfort on the slopes.
What to Look for in Ski and Snowboard Jackets?
A few things to look out for when picking a ski jacket.
First, make sure that the jacket is waterproof and breathable. Second, check the seams to be sure they are taped or sealed.
Third, choose a ski jacket with plenty of insulation. Fourth, make sure the hood is removable.
Fifth, pick a ski jacket with plenty of pockets. Sixth, make sure the ski jacket is comfortable.
Seventh, try on the ski jacket to be sure it fits properly.
Ski jackets can be waterproof or water resistant. Go through this article to help you understand the waterproof rating and help you choose the best ski jacket.
Therefore, don’t save money in the short term by buying cheaper brands with lower waterproof and breathability ratings.
Think of ski clothing as an investment. Buy once and buy well.
Buying quality ski wear will serve you well on your ski trip for years to come.